9 August 2019, Apia, Samoa – “Increasing the resilience of the Pacific islands through enhanced capacity using high-quality climate change prediction information.”
This is the main objective of the Republic of Korea-Pacific Islands Climate Prediction Services (ROK-PI CliPS) Phase-2 project, which was officially launched yesterday evening at Taumeasina Island Resort in Apia, Samoa.
The launch concluded the second day of deliberations for the Fifth meeting of the Pacific Meteorological Council (PMC), which is being held from 7 – 9 August at the Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi Convention Centre.
The ROK-PI CliPS Phase 2 project follows on from the ROK-PI CliPS Phase 1 which was completed in December 2017.
Phase 1 of the project successfully strengthened the adaptive capacity of vulnerable communities to climate risks at the seasonal timescale and resulted in the development of two important tools –the Climate Information ToolKit for the Pacific (CLIK-P) and the Pacific Island Countries Advanced Seasonal Outlook (PICASO).
Upon completion of Phase 1 however, NMHs at PMC-4 identified the existence of two particular needs to be addressed.
The first was the need to develop a user-friendly integrated approach to determine the optimal prediction for higher quality forecast information. The second is the need for more capacity building and training of NMHSs and in-country stakeholders to ensure that the tools and products developed by ROK-PI CliPS are taken up for decision making in sectors such as Agriculture, Health and Disaster Risk Reduction.
The ROK-PI CliPS Phase 2 project aims to address some of these needs through two separate outputs – the development of an integrated forecast function in PICASO, and the conducting of regional, sub-regional and in-country training programmes.
Speaking at the launch, Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Mr Kosi Latu, expressed his gratitude to the Republic of Korea, the APEC Climate Centre (APCC) and Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) for their support to the region through the project.
“What is quite evident is that this project has the full backing of our Pacific region, following the endorsement at the highest level by our Pacific leaders. We, Directors of Meteorological Services and the PMC, must recognise the opportunity that’s been presented to us, and make use of it for the benefit of our Pacific people.”
Professor Jong-Seong Kug, who is leading the team from POSTECH implementing the project said, “I am excited to continue this work and to build on the successes of Phase 1.It is my hope that the ROK-PI CliPS project will contribute to building a more resilient Pacific island region.”
Phase 2 was officially signed in October 2018 for the duration of two years – from 2018-2020 – and will target 14 Pacific island countries.
Through Phase 2, PICASO, the tailored, region-specific climate prediction service developed during Phase 1 will be updated and enhanced, with the insertion of an integrated forecast function named the “Consensus of Climate Outlooks” or CoCO, eliminating the need for a separate system and streamlining services.
Regional and national trainings will also be organised as part of Phase 2 activities, with the first training workshop on PICASO to be held in conjunction with the Pacific Islands Climate Outlook Forum in October 2019.
ROK-PI CliPS Phase 2 is funded by the Government of the Republic of Korea through the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and is being implemented by POSTECH and SPREP, with support from APCC.
The Fifth Pacific Meteorological Council (PMC-5) from 6 – 9 August, 2019 follows a range of pre-PMC meetings which were held in Apia, Samoa from 29 July - 6 August, 2019.
The PMC-5 is supported by a strong partnership between the following: The Government of Samoa, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Government of Australia through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Government of Canada, Government of Korea, Climate Risk Early Warning Systems (CREWS), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), IMPACT Project, Varysian, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Climate and Oceans Support Programme in the Pacific (COSPPac), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).